Sunday, October 23, 2016

Scot McKnight's Colossians Commentary

The first new release under the editorship of Joel Green (not counting Gordon Fee's revised classic on 1 Corinthians) in the NICNT series comes the anticipated commentary on Colossians by Scot McKnight. McKnight's volume will replace F.F. Bruce's volume, now 32 years old. Bruce's volume also combined Philemon and Ephesians, necessitating that Bruce spent less space discussing Colossians singularly.

As of the moment, I have yet to chase down a release date for the commentary, but my guess is that it should see the light of day in the early part of 2017. McKnight also authored the volume on James for this series back in 2011 when Fee was the editor.

Here is a brief description of the Colossians volume:
In the epistle to the Colossians, Paul offers a comprehensive vision of the Christian life; his claims transcend religion and bring politics, culture, spirituality, power, ethnicity, and more into play. This exegetical and theological commentary by Scot McKnight delves deeply into Paul's message in Colossians and draws out the theology that underpins it. McKnight interacts closely with the text of Colossians itself while bringing the best of biblical scholarship to the table. He focuses on reading Colossians in the context of Paul's other letters, his theology, and his mission to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Crafted specifically for preachers and teachers, this engaging and accessible commentary offers fresh light on Colossians.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Eerdmans: Forthcoming Johannine Studies of Note

Eerdmans is slated to release two significant volumes for students of Johannine literature in early 2017.

The first, a volume by noted scholar, William Loader, Jesus in John's Gospel: Structure and Issues in Johannine Christology, is slated for a February release. Loader brings plenty of expertise to this topic as he previously released a monograph entitled, The Christology of the Fourth Gospel: Structure and Issues (Beitr├Ąge zur biblischen Exegese und Theologie 23 (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2d ed., revised, 1992, 1st ed., 1989).

Here are some of the particulars of the volume:

The culmination of a lifetime of work on the Gospel of John, William Loader's Jesus in John's Gospel explores the Fourth Gospel as a whole, focusing on ways in which attention to the structure of Christology in John allows for greater understanding of Johannine themes and helps resolve long-standing interpretive impasses. Following an introductory examination of the profound influence of Rudolf Bultmann on Johannine studies, Loader takes up the central interpretive issues and debates surrounding Johannine Christology and explores the death of Jesus and the salvation event in John. With an exhaustive bibliography and careful, well-articulated conclusions that take into account the latest research on John, this volume will be useful to scholars and students alike.

 The second volume of note is co-authored by Sherri Brown and Francis Moloney, entitled Interpreting the Gospel and Letters of John: An Introduction. Brown, a former student of Moloney's, is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Creighton University. Moloney, one of the premier Johannine specialists in the world, is Senior Fellow in the Department of Biblical Studies at Catholic Theological College, Melbourne, Australia.

Slated for a March 2017 release, here are the particulars of this volume:

Accessible, comprehensive, and up-to-date, Interpreting the Gospel and Letters of John is an ideal text for students new to the discipline of biblical studies. Sherri Brown and Francis Moloney present a broad overview of the story of Christianity arising out of its Jewish foundations and proceed expertly to guide readers through the contents of the Gospel and Letters of John. Maintaining that Johannine literature is best understood against the background of the Old Testament covenant meta-phor, Brown and Moloney focus on the central role of covenant in the narrative of John's Gospel and highlight the Evangelist's use of fulfillment language. Helpful sidebars, maps, questions for review, and further reading sections are placed throughout the text, making this volume perfect for classroom use.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

C.F.D. Moule and the Quote of the Day

In some reflective reading this morning, I was perusing through my copy of C.F.D. Moule's The Phenomenon of the New Testament when I came upon this quote on the importance of a Jesus rooted in history for the Christian faith (one can sense the influence Moule had on N.T. Wright, for whom the latter has referred to Moule's adoption of him after the death of his own Doktorvater, George Caird).

Decision there must be if there is to be Christian faith. Faith is faith, and no amount of photography and tape-recording of events could compel it. To see is not necessarily to believe. But, on the other hand, neither is blind faith real faith. For belief it is necessary to see--at least something. The decision to accept Jesus as Lord cannot be made without historical evidence--yes, historical--about Jesus. If it were a decision without any historical evidence it would not be about Jesus (a historical person) but only about an ideology or ideal. Even 'bare kerygma' is not basis enough for a Christian decision, if that kerygma includes no more history than the death of Jesus of Nazareth. To be sufficient it must include more. We need to know what manner of man Jesus was. We need to know how he fitted into the religious history of Israel. Some character sketch and some tradition of his sayings and his judgments and his values and some estimate of his relation to the past is integral to the proclamation that evokes decision. That is why the Gospels and the Old Testament scriptures are needed to give content to the bare proclamation. We may decide to embrace a proposition, such as that God is one; or an ideal, such as that all men should be brothers. But before we can decide for Jesus we need to know what manner of man he was, how he was related to his antecedents, why he died, and what (so far as it can be indicated) lies behind the conviction that he is alive. To take all this unexamined is not Christian decision at all, even if it may be a moral or a religious decision (79; italics original).